Kagiso Rabada will fight his two-match suspension.
Kagiso Rabada will fight his two-match suspension.

Proteas drop banned Rabada bombshell

KAGISO Rabada remains an outside chance to gain a stunning reprieve for the third Test in Cape Town, after South Africa elected to appeal his suspension.

The International Cricket Council confirmed the Proteas would appeal the two-match ban for giving Steve Smith a send-off in the second Test, and announced a Judicial Commissioner will be appointed at the earliest opportunity with details of a hearing to come in due course.

The Daily Telegraph understands the Proteas are set to drop a bombshell and launch their legal challenge against Rabada's ban on the grounds of labour law regulations.

It's an incredible response from South Africa given two days ago they appeared resigned to Rabada's ban and admitted publicly that their strike rate for appeals with the ICC was "zero."

There is still every chance Rabada will stay sidelined for the deciding matches.

The ICC very rarely backtrack and Rabada's hopes rely on the hearing being set down before next Thursday's start of the third Test.

Rabada bowled Mitch Marsh with an absolute peach in the second Test.
Rabada bowled Mitch Marsh with an absolute peach in the second Test.

Rabada being cleared for the Test would be a huge boost to the series given he is the No.1 fast bowler in world cricket.

But match referee Jeff Crowe gave a strong condemnation of Rabada's actions post-Test and the Judicial Commissioner would essentially need to rubbish the verdict of one of the ICC's most respected figures.

"I found that there was contact between Rabada and Smith, and in my judgement the contact by Rabada was inappropriate, and deliberate," said Crowe at the time the suspension was handed down.

"He had the opportunity to avoid the contact, and I could not see any evidence to support the argument that the contact was accidental.

"It is also disappointing that this has happened the day after the pre-match meeting I had with both teams, where the importance of respect for opponents was highlighted.

"I take no pleasure in seeing a player suspended, particularly a young player of Kagiso's talent, but he has now breached the ICC Code of Conduct on a number of occasions."

Rabada has breached several ICC codes of conduct in his young career.
Rabada has breached several ICC codes of conduct in his young career.

Bizarrely, South Africa themselves seemed resigned to any appeal being a waste of time.

"Our strike rate is zero per cent at the moment with trying to challenge these cases," said South African captain, Faf du Plessis.

"It will probably stay at zero per cent. I don't think there is a big turnover when it comes to (challenging) these things.

"For me it's just about looking at the context of the series, and it's crucial that you have the best players playing.

"For us it's about proving that what KG did … they call it body contact, we would say it is a shirt bring brushed or it was not deliberate. There's a bigger thing here - there's a series that needs to be played."

South Africa have a history of refusing to take decisions on the chin. Last time they were in Australia they tried to challenge du Plessis' mint-gate ball-tampering charge right to the death. A bid they were unsuccessful with at every turn.



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